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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Section 19 of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

The board of higher education shall, subject to appropriation, establish a program to provide grants to residents of the commonwealth who are working as paraprofessionals in public schools of the commonwealth while pursuing a bachelor's degree at a public college or university in the commonwealth in order to become a certified teacher in the commonwealth. Eligibility shall be limited to persons (a) who have worked as a paraprofessional in the public schools of the commonwealth for a minimum period of 2 years before receipt of such grant, or who are paraprofessionals who have worked in public schools for a lesser time, and (b) who are enrolled in and pursuing courses of study that will lead to certification as a teacher in bilingual education, special education, math, science or foreign languages, and (c) who commit to teach and actually teach for such period as the board of higher education may determine in the public schools of the commonwealth upon graduation and certification under section 38G of chapter 71. The board of higher education shall establish guidelines governing implementation of the program. Such guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (i) the level of academic achievement grant recipients must maintain while participating in the grant program; (ii) the financial responsibilities of grant recipients should they fail to complete their teacher certification; and (iii) the duties and obligations of grant recipients upon completion of certification, including the minimum number of years that they shall be required to work as a teacher in a public school of the commonwealth. Such grants shall be used to defray the cost of tuition and fees at a public college or university in the commonwealth.

Approved January 1, 2003.